Posted on: January 15, 2008 12:32 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2008 7:59 am

The Stadium/Arena experience: Marlins Games

I will provide my insight from time to time on the Stadium/Arena-going experience. This inaugural installment focuses on the Florida Marlins and my experiences attending games.

Concessions: Living down in South Florida, I've been subjected to less than average food and drink at Marlins games, which are played at Dolphins Stadium. In South Florida, the beer is often cool when I purchase it and warm by the time I make it back to my seat. The variety of food is limited and so I typically purchase a hot dog and a beer. The hot-dog bun is not soft, but crunchy. The hot dog, itself, is not hot, but a mix between warm and slightly cold. Sometimes I'll have nachos and cheese and the combination isn't all that bad. The nacho chips are sometimes stale, but the concession folks keep the chips warm, which somewhat disguises their lack of freshness.  Rating on a scale of 1 to 10: 5.

Atmosphere: The Marlins don't draw big crowds and so plenty of good seats are available. The cool thing about that is that, for me, plenty of good seats are available. Not only can I get a good seat, but I can hear everything that's being said on the field because it's so quiet in the stadium. The bad thing about a lack of crowd is that there isn't much atmosphere at Marlins games. They're not exciting in as much as they are relaxing. There always seems to be one or two people in the crowd who are pretty boisterous, which would normally be drowned out in stadiums with larger crowds. So those one or two guys are more annoying in quiet setting. Rating on a scale of 1 to 10: 6.

Ultimate Experience: Because the Marlins attract smaller crowds, it's easy to drive in and out of the stadium. There are plenty of good seats available and the games are relaxing. There is neither grilling nor much tailgating going on, which takes away from the ultimate experience. The fans that do show up regularly are extremely loyal, which is a positive. Some of my lady friends are not fond of the Marlins Mermaids, but I have no complaints with them. Billy the Marlin, the team's mascot, does an okay job. I give him credit for walking around in 90 degree-plus weather. The food offered lacks variety and freshness, and the beer isn't cold enough. I typically attend 10 to 20 games a season, and pay for tickets in about 75-percent of the games I go to. Rating on a scale of 1 to 10: 6.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com